The question “Have clothing sizes changed since the 1990s?” has prompted a wide range of responses in the fashion industry. Several factions, such as retailers, are questioning the usefulness of the arbitrary sizing standard. Some companies, such as Gravitas, have even gone so far as to eliminate sizing labels altogether and replace them with motivational words. Others are simply making their offerings more inclusive.
In 1958, the National Institute of Standards and Technology created a universal sizing system, consisting of even numbers eight through thirty-eight and letters T, R, S. These symbols were then used to represent height and girth. As the human body grew and changed, so did clothing sizes. So, how are the sizing standards? One of the possible solutions to the problem is a new system that is both universally accepted and practical for the clothing industry.
Before the 1990s, clothing sizes were largely irrelevant. They were based on the height and weight of the person wearing the item. Now, though, clothing sizes have grown so dramatically that the size of an individual woman’s body has increased to an unprecedented amount. Today, a size 10 woman may not fit into a size 10 dress anymore. The reason for the shift is that the American public is becoming larger. So, even if you wore a size eight dress in the past, it won’t fit you now.
While the new sizing standard may be a welcome change, it is not a perfect solution. Retailers and brands need to purchase significant amounts of clothing to make a difference. For this reason, it helps if you own a successful business that has scales that are big enough to measure the actual sizes of clothes. If you want to make sure you purchase a size that fits, be sure to read the label thoroughly and check the size chart carefully.